For the Little Girl’s Sake, You Must Say It: ‘I’m Anti-Communist’

It's a title no one uses anymore, but we should use it because Communism still wrecks human lives.

By David Mills Published on June 23, 2017

No one describes himself as an anti-communist anymore, and we should. If you asked 100 politically active Americans to list five titles to describe their politics, you might not even find one “anti-communist” in the 500 answers.

You might be a conservative or a liberal, a reactionary or a radical, a libertarian, a socialist, a populist, an Occupier, a tea partier, an antifa, a Christian conservative. But you probably don’t even think to call yourself an anti-communist. That’s, like, so fifties.

Once a Marker

Once both conservative and liberal Americans used the term as a marker, an identifier. It was one of the leading points of mainstream American political commitment in the fifties and early sixties.

China: Have grown men watch a little girl on the toilet and beat up her at school. America: Send her to college.

Take Lionel Trilling. He stood at the center of the American liberal establishment in the fifties and sixties. A Columbia University professor, he wrote a famous book called The Liberal Imagination. He “took it upon himself to preach the anti-communist gospel in the 1940s,” according to a recent book called The Conservative Turn.

The same book noted that the leading leftist magazine of the forties and fifties, Partisan Review, offered “outright anti-communism.” The writer, a political liberal himself, concluded: “Liberal anti-communism was prevalent, almost ubiquitous in the 1950s.”

So leading liberals used to call themselves anti-communists. They don’t any more. But conservatives don’t either.

Why not? I assume no one uses it because the Soviet Union no longer threatens the United States. China doesn’t exactly threaten us, plus it offers us a place to make lots of money. The regime’s made some market reforms that fool westerners who want to be fooled. Cuba’s not a threat. Neither is Vietnam. North Korea worries us, but only because it’s a country run by nutcases. Venezuela’s slowly collapsing into a communist hellhole, and that worries us too, but not all that much.

Communism Hurts People

But Communist regimes still hurt people. Lots of people. Tens of millions of people. Many of those people they torture. Some of those people they kill. They do it because they’re communists. It’s what communists do. It’s what communism requires. Everywhere, at all times.

What else can you say when looking at as monstrous a regime as Communist China’s? What else can you want but that these regimes should perish from the earth, and that the monsters who run them receive justice?

You believe in human rights, you must be anti-communist. And say so out loud.

Because They’re Monsters

Here’s just one example. This week at National Review Online, Jay Nordlinger wrote about the Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng. The government imprisoned him in 2005. They tortured him often and horribly. The regime kept him in prison for many years and kept him under their direct control when they let him out. “I will not dwell on the torture he endured,” Nordlinger writes.

Suffice it to say, it was the worst: bamboo sticks through genitals, etc. They kept him in solitary confinement for three years. He was not allowed to stand or talk. In fact, he forgot how to do these things. For a year and a half, they blared Communist propaganda into his cell.

The regime wasn’t satisfied with throwing him in jail. It persecuted his family. Eight agents lived with the family, even watching them in the bathroom. Ten to thirty agents surrounded the apartment outside. Seven or eight agents followed his twelve-year-old daughter Grace to school every day. There, Nordlinger writes,

they observed her in the bathroom. They warned other students not to talk to her. If they did, the agents said, their parents would go to jail, just like Grace’s dad. The other students “avoided me as if I had some contagious disease,” says Grace. Furthermore, the agents would beat her up in front of her classmates.

“You can imagine what this did to a girl,” Nordlinger writes. “She attempted suicide, more than once.” The family finally escaped to America, leaving their husband and father behind. In America, free, with rights the state recognizes, Grace is finishing college.

China: Have grown men watch a little girl on the toilet and beat up her at school. America: Send her to college.

Communism Didn’t Die

The Chinese regime do this to their people all the time. The other communist regimes do the same thing to their people. They do evil, with a sadism and on a scale rarely seen before in human history. Communism didn’t die when the Berlin Wall fell down.

The West can do something about this evil. We can protest it and push our governments to protest it. Our governments can sanction these regimes and impose trade restrictions against them. They can ban Chinese products made by slave labor and restrict the technology we sell them.

This is why we need to revive the word “anti-communist” as a way of describing our political commitments. We need a work to focus our attention and keep us paying attention. Politics doesn’t work without words. Words mark and nurture commitments. That’s why people who care about human rights call themselves human rights activists.

“Anti-communist” can’t stop being a commitment by which Westerners identify themselves. Not when China remains a place that tortures human rights lawyers and follows little girls into the bathroom.

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  • Certainly we should proudly say we are anti-communist. I certainly did when I was in my Cold War Warrior days. But this is too easy today. There is another ideological war today being fought and it may be more difficult than the cold war. It’s the war against Islamism.
    Can we get to the point where we all proudly say “I am anti-Islamist,” anti-Sharia? I don’t see that many people standing up for that. I see a whole bunch of people who excuse Islamist actions and go around calling Islam “a religion of peace.” What a joke that is. Every week we have some slaughter and people refuse to identify the problem in an open way. The Islamists are equally monsters.

    I think we should stop really worrying about the battles that were won in the past and focus on the current situation.

    • Dean Bruckner

      Progressives are today’s domestic communists. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will do the full communist to us, with time and opportunity. We must fight a two-front war against the Progressive supremacists and the Muslim Sharia supremacists.

      • Kelly B

        Amen – If you hadn’t said it I would have

  • ncsugrant

    Well said. The victims of the evils of communism are counting on the free world to care enough to oppose it.

  • James

    People don’t use identify as anti-Communist because there aren’t many communists left. There are only 5 communist countries in the world. China, Vietnam, and Laos are communist in name only. They have an authoritarian government, but practice capitalism. Everybody hates North Korea, but that dictatorship is more about the Kim family than about Marx. That leaves Cuba as the only communist country that is practicing anything resembling communism.

  • WolfenStorm

    I remain anti-Communist…

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